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FMCG Trends - What to watch out for in 2019

Posted over 5 years ago by Julia Williams
fmcg supermarket

This time last year, we were anticipating the effect Brexit was going to have on recruitment in 2018. Would our clients be less likely to hire? Would candidates postpone their next career move? 


It turns out we had nothing to worry about - 2018 has been a hugely busy year for the FMCG team here at Pitch. We’ve continued to support our clients in finding the best talent for their marketing and commercial teams, whilst being lucky enough to forge new partnerships with some of the most exciting brands in the industry. It’s also been a pleasure supporting our incredible candidates this year in the search for their next dream role. 


A year’s worth of calls, meetings, events and networking has definitely given us much food for thought around likely trends for 2019. Unfortunately, we couldn’t list them all, so we’ve decided to pick our Top 3 predictions.


Consumers are looking for convenience

We touched on this in our FMCG blog posted back in March - people are living busier lives and want more convenience when it comes to meal times and feeding their families. The online takeaway concept is one that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Deliveroo’s investors are likely to have breathed a sigh of relief this year; after spending heavily on expansion in 2018, the gross margin has increased to 23% from less than 1%. JustEat have also had a brilliant year, and off the back of a great Q1 and Q2, they have consequently raised their investment plans. They’ve been pushing hard on raising brand awareness and managed to secure The X Factor’s high profile sponsorship spot this year - an impressive advertising win for their PR team. Supermarkets are also upping their game by offering a large selection of ready-to-go meal options. Tesco’s ‘Food Loves Stories’ has been a hugely successful campaign and Waitrose’s shopper team have been driving in-store activation to promote their online ‘Cook Well’ subscription box offering - their answer to HelloFresh’s market-leading proposition.


Refreshing food sustainability agendas

Climate change has clearly been a defining factor in food companies’ sustainability for years, and with the issue dominating news outlets in 2018, chief executives in food businesses will start the New Year with two reports on the outlook for the UN's climate agenda at the forefront of their minds. According to, food companies will face scrutiny in the coming year in relation to their own emissions targets, notably in relation to Scope 3 (indirect) emissions generated by the production of agricultural raw materials. A survey conducted by Ceres of the 50 targets food and beverage companies revealed just eight of the companies - Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever - have set explicit reduction targets and report on Scope 3 emissions.


Consumers want an experience

FMCG marketers have become aware that consumers, especially Millennials and those from Generation Z, are interested in experiences more than actual products. Therefore, industry players are looking to create experiences around their products and encourage sharing among consumers by investing in digital capabilities. The alcohol industry has really jumped on this trend with a number of manufacturers introducing augmented reality wine labels, with brands like 19 Crimes by Treasury One seeing a profit growth of 34% in 2018! Social media continues to be a platform that innovates year on year, consumers are attracted to unique products they can share virally and grab their followers’ attention.